St. Moritz ‒ Quo Vadis?
Institutional Communication Service
30 June 2017
Prof. Valentin Bearth Academy of Architecture
An exhibition by the Academy of Architecture showcases a selection of 130 Diploma projects presenting urban planning studies on the development potential of several key sites in St. Moritz.
This exclusive winter and summer holiday resort, cradle of Alpine winter sports, is undoubtedly one of the world’s most celebrated holiday destinations. Its luxurious, sophisticated ambiance together with the cutting-edge infrastructure introduced at the end of the 19th century – such as the electrification of hotels, the daring winter sports facilities or the tram linking St. Moritz Dorf to St. Moritz Bad – transformed the traditional Engadine mountain village into a cosmopolitan Alpine city visited by tourists from all over the world. Today this resort lives on thanks to this myth and the pioneering spirit of its founding fathers.
In the immediate post-war period, the increase in second homes and the crisis of the hotel industry gave rise to an “urbanalization” process typical of the Alpine region that threatened the resort’s main resource, its magnificent valley landscape. The Federal law on second homes has created the conditions to reconsider this type of development. In some cases, the search for alternative models can lead to a reassessment and reinterpretation of hotels as possibly the richest form of collective living. In fact, the time and opportunity may have come to rethink public spaces.
25 projects designed by the committed future architects reveal the potential of a possible urban development plan for St. Moritz. Both concrete projects and utopian ideas represent new impetus to further develop this resort, which has lost some of its identity in the past decades, to succeed in the ambition blazoned in colourful advertising brochures – in other words, to continue to be one of the leading holiday resorts in the Alps.
Maybe the remark once made by the Italian architect Aldo Rossi also applies to St Moritz: “Architecture is a form of survival developed by humans. It is a way of expressing our fundamental search for happiness”.
The exhibition will be open from 16.06 to 08.12.2017 at the St. Moritz Design Gallery: www.design-gallery.ch